Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Administration

Major Professor

J. Patrick Biddix

Committee Members

Jimmy Cheek, Lane Morris, Mary Lynne Derrington


With an increase in distance learning and online degree programs, many higher education institutions have partnered with online program management (OPM) providers, leading to a dramatic growth of the OPM industry over the past decade. The purpose of this study was to develop an empirically based understanding of the value proposition of entities of higher education partnering with OPMs through an in-depth, revelatory case study of value co-creation as experienced in the partnership between a doctoral research institution, specifically an academic department, and its OPM provider. The following research question guided this study: How does an OPM co-create value with an institutional partner? The partnership was analyzed to unveil how the academic department and OPM operated within their partnership, and findings revealed how and to what extent the partnership revealed the dimensional elements of value co-creation. A rich description is provided along with findings to promote transferability for institutional administrators and policymakers. Findings have implications for the future of distance education and higher education practices and policies.

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